On a wet, rainy night in Fond du Lac, the Stoutmen took to the field to host the Red Dogs from De Pere. The field was sloppy, but the Stoutmen were ready to kick off the regular season. De Pere started off strong taking advantage of a mishandled kickoff followed by some strong loose play to put down the first score of the game in under a minute. The conversion was missed to put them up 5-0. The next 9 minutes would go by with both teams having scoring opportunities, thwarted by stingy defense and miscues due to a wet ball. At the 10 minute mark Cameron Britton took advantage of an errant pass, picking it off and running into goal. He also made the conversion to put the score at 7-5 Stoutmen. Both defenses stood strong for the next 11 minutes until De Pere was finally able to take advantage of an ill-timed offsides penalty that helped them down the final try of the half and put them up 10-7 going into the half. That capped a hard hitting first half that would see the young Stoutmen only down by 3.
The beginning of the second half started right where the first left off, with some hard hitting defense led by captain Jonah Dietenberger, and seniors Jarrod Hart and Conrad DeVaney. They would hold off the De Pere attack until the 39 minute mark when the Red Dogs were able to take advantage of a miscue in a line out. They used a series of quick passes to beat the defense around the corner and put them up 15-7. As the second half would go on, the Stoutmen defense would continue to break down and get overloaded on the outside giving up a total of 4 more unanswered tries. The tired defense, that played with no subs the entire game, just couldn't muster a turnover to get the offense back on track. Final score Stoutmen 7- Red dogs 39. A tough loss for the young team, but many players showed signs of good things to come for the Stoutmen. One such player, Carlos Martinez, was selected as the man of the match for his relentless defensive pressure and solid rugby tactics throughout the game.
The Stoutmen will be in action again next Wednesday May 3rd in Green Bay to take on the Mavericks.